Tour Diary: Love Will Tear Us Apart…Or Maybe Not?
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.”
― Shel Silverstein
After playing in Charlotte, NC, I quickly started tearing down as I usually do, getting my stuff and the heavier things for Chicky off stage as there was one more act that needed to go on. We don’t like when people dilly dally when we’re waiting to go on, so we move as fast as the 2 of us can humanly move.
This is usually easy for me, since more often than not, the wife is bombarded by people and I’m left alone. I’m not complaining by any stretch of the imagination, just stating a fact. Covered in sweat after playing and moving gear, I usually go outside to change my very sweaty t-shirt. While outside, a kid from the band that went on before us started to talk to me, asking me a few questions about touring. It was his band’s first time leaving their home state and he was impressed at the length of our tour. He told me that we were inspiring. I didn’t feel like an inspiration.
We were looking at our 3rd night in a row playing and making little money. Bills are coming due and we are trying to figure out how much we’d have to make this coming week to recover from last. As I walked back in the venue to see if anybody wanted to buy any merch, the rest of the band came over. They asked me questions about what it’s like to tour at this level, and expressed how impressed they were that we gave such a tireless performance. They asked for some advice, touring “hacks” if you will. At that point I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t feeling very positive about my life decision.
I told the kids that it’s long, sometimes tough, and not necessarily monetarily rewarding. There was an upside, and that side was the people that you get to meet along the way. I let them know that by touring at this level, not being separated by buses and hotels, you really get to be among the people of a particular town and see how they live. You get a great perspective on the country you live in. You make great friends.
Later that night we headed back to our friend Jesse’s house. He had a guest room and he was letting us stay with him while we were in town. We met Jessie a few years ago on tour when he worked at a venue/restaurant we played in Charlotte, NC. He had invited us back to his place where we watched horror movies, talked and laughed all night until the morning. He was also the one that put the whole show together for us. That has been the way a lot of this tour has been getting done… Us contacting friends all over the country helping us put shows together. I was feeling a bit dejected. We played a good show, but the turnout wasn’t the best, so the payout wasn’t the best. Chicky and I had said that we were going to eat at a place called Cook-Out after the show. It’s a Southeastern fast food late night staple, especially in North Carolina. The payout being what it was, wasn’t enough for us to indulge in after hours pig-outs and get gas the next day for our drive to Washington, DC. As we walked up to the house, Jesse was asking how we liked Cook-Out since we had been talking about all night at the show. We told him we were gonna have to hold off on it, and he wasn’t having it. He had a friend over, Lindsay, and they both insisted that we eat some Cook-Out and THEY were gonna treat us. I was speechless. Thank you didn’t feel like enough. The kindness of others has been a driving force for us in life, not just touring. Living this life, you’re in and out of a city in a day.
In that time, it’s crazy to think that you can connect with people on a level that deep and have these kinds of bonds, but you do. Maybe it’s the music we do. By putting our souls out on display, we expose ourselves to a point that perhaps make people feel more comfortable around us. We don’t know, we are just speculating. Whatever it is, we appreciate you all, and we LOVE discovering new people and hearing about their lives. The human experience is a catalyst for the content of our music.
Tonight, we are off to the next town…